“Cathleen Ni Houlihan”. This was a play written in by William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory and is filled with symbolism and focuses on men sacrificing. Cathleen Ni Houlihan. William Butler Yeats. PERSONS IN THE PLAY. PETER GILLANE. MICHAEL GILLANE, his Son, going to be married. PATRICK. Cathleen ni Houlihan: William Butler Yeats: When Yeats’s play Cathleen ni Houlihan was first performed in Dublin in , she played the title role. It was during.

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Cathleen Ni Houlihan says. The play is startlingly nationalisticin its last pages encouraging young men to sacrifice their lives for the heroine Cathleen ni Houlihanwho represents an independent and separate Irish state.

Cathleen ni Houlihan – Wikipedia

Carbery refers to Kathleen Ni Houlihan by name as the personification of Ireland that the emigrants miss. The play centers on the Rebellion. This is such a simple play that contains many symbols and has the goal of convincing men to fight for Ireland. Retrieved from ” https: This nationalist sacrificial mythology can be tied to pagan concepts of “seasonal rejuvenation” and the sacrificial aspects of Christianity in the Crucifixion and tradition of martyrdom Kearney, p.

Retrieved from ” https: With little subtlety, she requests a blood sacrificedeclaring that “many a child will be born and there cathlfen be no father at the christening “.

This article includes a list of referencesrelated reading or external linksbut its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.

At the same time, these heroic sacrificial martyrs are rewarded by being “remembered for ever” Kearney, p. Irish literature Irish folklore Personifications of Ireland National personifications. This article needs additional citations for verification. Cathleen Ni Houlihan represents Ireland and she goes to a home cahtleen there is about to be a marriage and convinces the future groom, Michael, to give up the wedding and go fight.

8. Irish Nationalism in “Cathleen Ni Houlihan”

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In Yeats and Gregory’s play, Kathleen Ni Houlihan tells the family her sad tale, interspersed with songs about famous Irish heroes that had given their life for her. Frequently it is hinted that this is because she has been dispossessed of her home which comprised a farmhouse and “four green fields” symbolising the four provinces of Ireland.


The figure of Kathleen Ni Houlihan has also been invoked in nationalist Irish politics. Kathleen Ni Houlihan is generally depicted as an old woman who needs the help of young Irish men willing to fight and die to free Ireland from colonial rule, usually resulting in the young men becoming martyrs for this cause.

The title character first appears as an old woman at the door of a family celebrating their son’s wedding. Kathleen Ni Houlihan Irish: Articles needing additional references from March All articles needing additional references Articles with Project Gutenberg links All stub articles. This men that died while fighting for Ireland were considered heroes, which is why memory and martyrdom were such important themes that are incorporated into works about revolution.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. While this play was written about the rising ofit was meant to inspire people for the Rising.

“Cathleen Ni Houlihan” – Irish Studies

Richard Kearneyp. Irish poet Seamus Heaney has suggested that the character of Sarah in Brian Friel ‘s Translations can be seen as a Kathleen Ni Houlihan-like figure desperately trying to regain her voice and identity. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. O’Casey’s treatment of the myth is generally viewed as ironic or sardonic.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. She ultimately lures the young groom away to join in the failed Irish Rebellion of against the British during the French Revolutionary Wars. Death is common during the time around the rising, but becoming a martyr is somethings that is admirable, so oftentimes people welcomed death so they could create themselves a heroic memory.


This page was last edited on 21 Decemberat In James Joyce ‘s Dubliners the selection ” A Mother ” contains the character Kathleen whose mother “determined to take advantage of her daughter’s name” during the Celtic Revival. It would be possible to convince men to go out to fight for their country. It was first performed on 2 April of that year and first published in the October number of Samhain. Memory is valued, and many men during times of revolution from Britain wanted to be remembered as a hero.

Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. Throughout the whole play, there is constant reference to memory and its influence on the public. Other symbols of Liberty.

The groom’s choice — and eventual death in the failed rebellion — rejuvenates Kathleen Ni Houlihan to some degree. Yeats Works by Augusta, Lady Gregory 20th-century play stubs. She acthleen her four “beautiful green fields,” representing the four provincesthat have been unjustly taken from her.

After the groom makes his decision and leaves, one character notes that the old woman has become a beautiful young woman with the walk of a queen. This play is about Irish Independence, but there are themes of martyrdom in other works, like the musical about American Independence, Hamilton and Views Read Edit View history. The martyrs would be remembered forever, houlihwn is why this theme is so ingrained into this play.

Yeats, Nine One-Act Playsp. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. When the youth agrees and leaves the safety of his home to fight for her, she appears as an image of youth with “the walk of a queen,” professing of those who fight for her: